The partiers have Bourbon Street. The shoppers have Rodeo Drive. And the golfers have Magnolia Lane – the gateway to one of golf’s greatest stages: Augusta National Golf Club.
Like a double rainbow or a lunar eclipse, courses like Augusta National Golf Club are rare. But unlike some of the great golf meccas (e.g. Pinehurst or Bandon Dunes), Augusta is one of those bucket list experiences that, for many, will remain unchecked.
The exclusive golf course was designed in 1932 by Dr. Alister MacKenzie who, just a few years earlier, had completed Cypress Point and the West Course at Royal Melbourne. Needless to say, MacKenzie came with quite the resume.
Since the first Masters Tournament in 1934, Augusta National Golf Club has undergone several changes. While the course continues to evolve in conjunction with advancements in the game of golf, the allure of Augusta National has never wavered.
And because most of us can only admire the course from afar, here is an inside look at all 18 holes at Augusta National Golf Club.
Fun Fact: The 365-acre parcel of land Augusta National Golf Club was created upon began as a nursery. As a gesture to the course’s past, and in perfect alignment with its dedication to tradition, each hole is named after a blooming flower, tree, or shrub that’s planted somewhere on the respective hole.
Augusta National Golf Club Hole-by-Hole
Hole No. 1 – Tea Olive
Par 4 – 445 Yards
Site of the honorary opening tee shot, the first hole at Augusta National Golf Club has witnessed almost as much history as the 18th. And with trouble left and a massive fairway bunker on the right, the course doesn’t give players much time to settle into their round. Add in the name announcement and following uproar of applause and it’s the perfect recipe for some of the biggest first-tee jitters players will ever experience.
The longer hitters will have a better chance on this slight dogleg right as the bunker requires about a 300-yard drive to carry. But even with a tee shot safely in the center of the fairway, double bogey is still a possibility if your short game is shaky. The green is where the real danger lies with a false front and subtle undulations – design elements you’ll find Dr. MacKenzie implemented on several holes at Augusta National.
Hole No. 2 – Pink Dogwood
Par 5 – 575 Yards
If the first hole is an insult, the second hole is Augusta’s apology. For those that card a bogey or worse on No. 1, No. 2 offers an opportunity to get back a shot or two. In fact, the second hole is the third easiest on the course and has never played at par or worse. Its lowest score came in 2015 when players averaged 4.618.
But, don’t mistake this hole for a pushover. There’s lots of strategy involved from tee to green. The entire hole plays downhill and is easily reachable in two for the big hitters. The real excitement comes with Sunday’s back right pin location where balls naturally feed towards the hole for great looks at birdies, eagles, and the occasional albatross.
Louis Oosthuizen is actually the first and only player to record a deuce on No. 2. It came in 2012 and would’ve been the highlight of the tournament had it not been for Bubba Watson’s miracle shot from the woods on No. 10 during a playoff with Oosthuizen, but more on that later.
The double-eagle has landed! Louis Oosthuizen cards a 2 on No. 2.
Hole No. 3 – Flowering Peach
Par 4 – 350 Yards
At just 350 yards, the third hole is very much a drivable par 4. For some players, it’s even a 3-woodable par 4. Put plainly, the yardage isn’t the problem on this hole. It’s all about how it’s played.
With four fairway bunkers in play, many will lay up and opt for a good position in the fairway. But, that leaves a challenging short iron or wedge approach with the potential for backspin off a severely sloping green. Players that go for the green with their first shot will face the same challenge, just from a shorter distance.
Hole No. 4 – Flowering Crab Apple
Par 3 – 240 Yards
What the third hole lacked in distance is quickly made up for at the monster par 3 4th, regarded as the third most difficult hole on the golf course. At 240 yards, most players are hitting a 2 or 3 iron, or even a fairway wood, depending on the pin location. A swirling wind makes club selection even more important off the tee.
The green is guarded by two bunkers and slopes from back to front, so you’ll likely see many players utilizing that slope as a backstop when there’s a front pin. Players that get away with a square-free score on this hole can breathe a sigh of relief…until they reach the next tee box.
Hole No. 5 – Magnolia
Par 4 – 495 Yards
Despite being the second-longest par 4 on the course, the 5th hole is severely underrated and used to be one of the least televised holes on the golf course. It was actually inspired by the Road Hole at the Old Course at St. Andrews. With a pair of virtually unplayable fairway bunkers, accuracy off the tee is crucial at No. 5. But even with a perfect tee shot, players will still have a long way home.
Hole No. 6 – Juniper
Par 3 – 180 Yards
The 6th hole is the middle child of the par 3s – not entirely forgotten about but easily overshadowed by the gems on the back nine. In fact, many patrons plop their chairs down on the valley between the tee and the green for views of the 6th green, the first two shots of the 15th, and the 16th hole.
The tiered green is the real challenge on the 6th and players often have a hard time landing their shot on the same level as the pin. Long or short here can certainly lead to a bogey or worse.
Hole No. 7 – Pampas
Par 4 – 450 Yards
In the early 2000s, the tees were moved back about 40 yards on No. 7 and that trend continued for another five years. Aside from the added distance, the fairway is one of the most narrow on the golf course. Many players will even hit a fairway wood off the tee just to ensure they hit the fairway. Any tee shot landing in the rough or among the trees will require Houdini-like skills to escape with par.
And did we mention the green is guarded by five bunkers? Yes, five.
Hole No. 8 – Yellow Jasmine
Par 5 – 570 Yards
There are many spots at Augusta National Golf Club where golfers cannot grasp the elevation changes until they’ve walked it themselves. And the 8th hole is a prime example. The reachable par 5 requires a precise drive to avoid the fairway bunkers and a blind, uphill shot awaits those going for the green in two. An absence of bunkers around the green is the only break players get on this hole.
Hole No. 9 – Carolina Cherry
Par 4 – 460 Yards
The dramatic elevation changes continue into the final hole on the front side. The 9th begins with a relatively straightforward tee shot, the longer the better. Most second shots are hit from a downslope to an elevated green which, as any seasoned player knows, is an incredibly difficult combination. Because of the severe back to front slope, any approach falling a tad too short does risk rolling back down the hill.
And if you have any breath left after completing the climb to the green, it’ll be quickly taken away again by the sheer undulation of the putting surface. With several tiers and mounds, it’s one dance floor you quite literally won’t want to dance on.
Hole No. 10 – Camellia
Par 4 – 495 Yards
The Masters doesn’t start until the back nine on Sunday… and it begins with the hardest hole on the golf course. The 10th is known for producing some serious drama and movement on the leaderboard. Its most famous moment in modern history came a decade ago when Bubba Watson magically escaped from the trees with an almost 90 degree-knockdown wedge – a mind-boggling shot that would ultimately win him the Masters.
The shot heard round the world…
Despite Watson’s success on No. 10, the dogleg left is more accommodating to right-handers. It plays downhill towards a 60-yard bunker in the center of the fairway, just short of the green. The green slopes severely from right to left making for several ungettable pin locations.
Hole No. 11 – White Dogwood
Par 4 – 505 Yards
As the only major tournament played at the same venue year after year, there’s a certain familiarity with Augusta National Golf Club. And it’s strongest at Amen Corner, which begins on the par 4 11th. It’s the second most difficult hole on the course and has never played at par or better. And there are several reasons why…
It begins with the added length in the early 2000s to an already lengthy par 4. And while the fairway does eventually open up, players are forced to hit a perfect drive with a relatively narrow landing zone. The greenside pond makes for an even harder approach.
Hole No. 12 – Golden Bell
Par 3 – 155 Yards
10 and 11 may have broken your spirit, but 12 will break your heart. On paper, No. 12 may seem like child’s play at just 155 yards. And while most players would have a field day with a wedge or short iron in hand, there are several other factors in play beyond distance.
The 12th hole is known for its stunning azaleas, the walk over the Hogan Bridge, and the looming danger of Rae’s Creek. But it’s the unpredictable swirling wind that leaves players perplexed year after year. Club selection is critically important and players can hit anything from a wedge to a six iron depending on the wind.
Hole No. 13 – Azalea
Par 5 – 510 Yards
Ahhh, the good ole risk-reward. And it comes at the second easiest hole on the golf course: No. 13. With thousands of patrons lining the fairways and greens of Amen Corner, an eerie stillness lingers among the 13th tee box – unreachable by fans.
An extension of Rae’s Creek snakes along the left side of the fairway while trees and pine straw collect any shot leaking to the right. And if the tee shot wasn’t difficult enough, going for the green in two means carrying Rae’s Creek… again.
Hole No. 14 – Chinese Fir
Par 4 – 440 Yards
The 14th hole may be the only one without a bunker, but it poses some challenges of its own. The fairway doglegs left up the hill but slopes hard from left to right leaving some awkward stances for second shots. But, it’s the putting surface that determines the player’s score on this hole. With a false front and several different tiers, precision on the approach is imperative.
Hole No. 15 – Firethorn
Par 5 – 530 Yards
Despite being the easiest hole on the golf course, many green jackets have been won and lost on the 15th hole. Eagle, double-bogey, the dreaded “others” – they’re all in play on the 15th.
A drive up the left side means laying up. And laying up means a wedge shot from a downhill lie with a forced carry over water to an elevated green. What a mouthful! The green is very narrow, too. So a solid wedge with backspin has a serious chance of ending up wet. The drop zone isn’t great, either, as you’ll be posed with the same water/backspin problem – just from a shorter distance.
A drive placed up the right side, on the other hand, will leave players with a decision to make. Reaching the green in two is surely the goal, but players are faced with an incredibly difficult landing zone. With a long iron or fairway wood into the green, many players go long. And while there’s plenty of land behind the green to stay dry, it still leaves players with a tight chip back towards the pond.
Hole No. 16 – Redbud
Par 3 – 170 Yards
Even though the 16th may not be a part of the renowned Amen Corner, it still produces its own kind of magic. And it starts during the practice rounds when players try to skip their ball across the pond to the green. It’s a crowd-pleaser, especially when it turns into a hole-in-one like it did for Jon Rahm in 2020.
Jon Rahm skips his way to a hole-in-one during a practice round!
But the par 3 truly shines on the final day of the tournament with the Sunday pin position. Most players will hit about 20 feet right of the flag and allow the natural curvature of the green to guide the ball down to the hole. For many, it’s the last chance to get another birdie on the card before the finishing holes.
Hole No. 17 – Nandina
Par 4 – 440 Yards
The narrow fairway on the 17th got a little wider with the removal of the Eisenhower Tree in 2014. The tree used to be a landmark at Augusta National Golf Club as the 34th president, Dwight D. Eisenhower, frequently hit the tree while playing. And despite his many denied pleas to have the tree removed, it was ultimately taken down after sustaining damage during an ice storm.
The fairway is still only about 30 yards wide, but a precise drive will make for a fairly short shot into a tricky green.
Hole No. 18 – Holly
Par 4 – 465 Yards
Whether you’re atop the leaderboard or ten shots back, the tee shot on the 18th at Augusta National Golf Club is one of the most intimidating in golf. Players must thread their drive through a narrow window of trees while trying to work the ball to the right to avoid the bunkers at the end of the fairway.
After landing safely in the short grass, the approach typically requires a mid-iron depending on the pin placement. And those deceptive elevation changes get one last laugh with the hike up to the 18th green. The putting surface, like many others at Augusta, is tiered and guarded by two bunkers. And with a back pin, it’s crucial to get the ball all the way to the hole.
The 18th has served as the setting for some of golf’s greatest finales. But, who will win the green jacket this year? Learn more about where and when to watch the 86th edition of the Masters.
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